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Cymatics Secret of Sound

Designed by: Boaz Leung 1

Cymatics Secret of Sound

Cymatics: Secret of Sound Design Copyright © 2017 by Boaz Leung


What is Cymatics?


Water Memory


Sacred Geometry


Ocean Noise


Music and Plant


Sound as Weapon


Sound Meditation


What is Cymatics?

Nikola Tesla once said, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy frequency and vibration.� Cymatics is the study of the wave phenomena which causes matter to take form in geometrical patterns when subjected to sound. It can also be described as a process of making sound visible to the human eye. A simple experiment to demonstrate the visualisation of cymatics can be done by sprinkling sand on a metal plate and vibrating the plate, for example by drawing a violin bow along the edge, or in a more modern context, by playing sound with a speaker, the sand will then form itself into standing wave patterns such as simple concentric circles. The higher the frequency, the more complex the shapes produced, with certain shapes having similarities to traditional mandala designs.


In 1787, the jurist, musician and physicist Ernst Chladni published Entdeckungen ßber die Theorie des Klangesor ( Discoveries Concerning the Theory of Sound). In this and other pioneering works, Chladni, who was born in 1756, the same year as Mozart, and died in 1829, the same year as Beethoven, laid the foundations for that discipline within physics that came to be called acoustics, the science of sound. Among Chladni´s successes was finding a way to make visible what sound waves generate. With the help of a violin bow which he drew perpendicularly across the edge of flat plates covered with sand, he produced those patterns and shapes which today go by the term Chladni figures.


What we are seeing in this illustration is primarily two things: areas that are and are not vibrating. When a flat plate of an elastic material is vibrated, the plate oscillates not only as a whole but also as parts. The boundaries between these vibrating parts, which are specific for every particular case, are called node lines and do not vibrate. The other parts are oscillating constantly.


Whereas Chladni had to steady a small steel plate covered with sand in his fingers while stroking it with a violin bow, Hans Jenny had the advantage of electronic equipment, giving him much greater control over his experiments. Hidden within the physical formations of standing-wave patterns, he perceived and documented specific processes manifesting through the oscillations of sound frequencies. 16

The development of a pattern in sand (step by step)

Swinging water drops (by Hans Jenny)

Sand patterns as a function of the size of the plate 17

Different patterns emerge in the excitatory medium depending on the geometry of the plate and the driving frequency. The apparatus employed can be simple, such as the Tibetan singing bowl, or Chinese singing fountain, in which copper handles are rubbed and cause the copper bottom elements to vibrate.

Other examples are a Chladni Plate or advanced such as the CymaScope, a laboratory instrument that makes visible the inherent geometries within sound and music. The science of movement and patterns created by sound frequencies on physical surfaces and inside mediums, that is, the science of dancing matter, is called Cymatics. Sound sets matter into motion. Rhythmic motion to the music is called dance. Matter dances to sound just like our bodies dance to music.


The effects sound has on different material bodies having different physical properties. The same frequency applied to a plate with sand will create a totally different pattern for every variation in the plate’s shape, size, thickness, material, as well as variations of the oscillating medium (sand, salt, etc.) and will look completely different in different liquids like water, oil, corn starch, etc. Cornstarch and water or “Oobleck” is an example of a Non-Newtonian fluid – A liquid that starts to behave like a solid when under stress, in this case a mechanical vibration caused by the speaker cone moving up and down forty times a second.


Water Memory

“I learned that no two snowflakes were identical. So I thought, “Oh, snowflakes. Snow is water. If snow has crystals, than water should too, when it’s frozen.” - Dr. Masaru Emoto Sound is behind the manifestation of form and matter. Cymatic frequencies have an effect on texture, structure, water and more. We humans are made of over 70% water! This leads to the research of Dr. Masaru Emoto. Masaru Emoto (1943 – 2014) was a Japanese researcher who has dedicated his life to the “language” of the water. Human beings are essentially made up of water, and in his pioneering research, Dr. Masaru Emoto demonstrated that the molecular structure of water is greatly affected by non-physical events such as thoughts, words, and intention. In a series of ground-breaking studies he applied mental stimulation to water and photographed it with a dark field microscope, taking snapshots of the formation of ice crystals to show how the application of different intentions to water affected it’s physical structure.


The results were nothing short of phenomenal. It turns out that just as tone and intention affect human-to-human communication, he proved that tone and intention are received as communication by water. Just as plants are now understood to be self-conscious and somewhat self-aware, Dr. Emoto’s studies suggest that water also exhibits signs of consciousness and intelligence. After observing these miraculous results, Dr. Emoto went on to type out different words, both positive and negative in nature, and taped them to containers full of water.

The water stamped with positive words is far more symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing than that stamped with dark, negative phrases. It is important to be aware of the fact that our positive and negative thinking have a major impact on the surrounding environment. That concept is relatively easy to grasp, but this extremely tangible evidence of it is astounding. If the words and thoughts that come out of us have this effect on water crystals, it’s amazing to think of what kind of effect they have on the people and events that come into our lives.


Shimanto river

Antarctic ice


Love and Gratitude



Ave Maria



Lake Motos

Sanbu-ichi Yusui

Lake Maggiore


I can do it




Symphony No.40

Before the Buddhist prayer was offered at Fujiwara

After the Buddhist prayer was offered at Fujiwara dam

Essentially, Dr. Emoto developed a technique using a very powerful microscope in a very cold room along with high-speed photography, to photograph newly formed crystals of frozen water samples. Not all water samples crystallize however. Water samples from extremely polluted rivers directly seem to express the ‘state’ the water is in. Dr. Masaru Emoto discovered that crystals formed in frozen water reveal changes when specific, concentrated thoughts are directed toward them. He found that water from clear springs and water that has been exposed to loving words shows brilliant, complex, and colorful snowflake patterns. In contrast, polluted water, or water exposed to negative thoughts, forms incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colors.


Before prayer ceremony at Lake Biwa in 1999

After prayer ceremony at Lake Biwa in 1999

Once a certain vibration is introduced to the water, how long does the water “remember” that crystalline structure?

What kind of words would create smaller clusters and what kind of words would create larger clusters?

“This will be different depending on the original structure of the water itself. Tap water will lose its memory quickly. We refer to the crystalline structure of water as “clusters.” The smaller the clusters, the longer the water will retain its memory. If there is too much space between the clusters, other information could easily infiltrate this space, making it hard for the clusters to hold the integrity of the information. Other micro-organisms could also enter this space. A tight bonding structure is best for maintaining the integrity of information.”

“Slang words like “you fool” destroy clusters. You would not see any crystals in these cases. Negative phrases and words create large clusters or will not form clusters, and positive, beautiful words and phrases create small, tight clusters.”


To what extent does water capable of picking up information? What does it perceive? And how does it remember it over time? The Aerospace institute of Stuttgart has discovered a relatively simple way of making the structure of the drop of water visible. The researchers have had their efforts rewarded by insights into a very beautiful world. Each drop has a face of its own, unmistakable and unique. Why are the individual drops so different from one another? We got a lot of people to come to a lecture hall here at the institute, gave them all the same water, had them make drops at exactly the same time, collected all the drops and then discovered that each individual produced different images from the same water. And here you can see the results, here at the left you can see that the images of the individual students were different. But those made by a given student were all quite similar. This is the work of the first experimenter, this one here from the second, this from the third, and this from the fourth. Individually, they can quite easily be reproduced. But you would never have thought they were all from the same water, because when you compare the images from the different people, you see some big differences.


The stigma that water has a memory, practically changes our whole way of looking at the world. let’s travel down the rhine in the trigitive sense. The water is flowing down the rhine picking up information everywhere it goes. So the water has more information at the mouth of the rhine, than it had at the source. And the dutch living at the mouth when they drink that water, they are also drinking all the information. Thus the world’s oceans will no longer be something that seperates us, but instead a giant storehouse of information, and the rain will perhaps be a data medium carrying information to the world.

Then we undertook experiments to find out whether things changed when we put something into the water. A real flower was placed in the water. A while later, we took a drop of water and here you can see one of the pictures.

You can see in this picture, it’s the typical image you get when you put flower in the water. You could recognize the flower in every single drop in this glass, of course. That can be reproduced and have signifificance. And if you were to put a different flower in here for example, a sweet william flower, then all the drops of this water will look like sweet william.


Sacred Geometry

Cymatics demonstrate effectively how sound is able to create geometric patterns in various materials. I began to wonder if there was a connection between the geometric shapes created by the sound waves and Sacred Geometry. Many ancient cultures describe in their creation myths a beginning point for all that exists in the world today. In many myths, sound or frequency is referred to either as a ‘Word’ or ‘Thought’.


Geometry, sound, resonance, and vibration are fundamental to our supposedly physical world. For instance, when the primeval Hindu sound—the OM (from which is derived our modern term “hum”)—is sung into a tonoscope (a device for converting the human voice into visible form) it creates geometric shapes such as pentagrams, hexagrams, even complex mandalas.

Such well-known geometric shapes are also found in the microscopic world of atoms. Thanks to advancements in technology we can now see how atoms are not as solid as once believed, but tiny harmonic resonators whose molecules dance in geometric rhythms around a central node. And these rhythms often trace out the shape of the pentagram and the hexagram. Sacred Geometry can be found in the patterned beauty of Creation. That means that even the cells of our DNA hold sacred geometrical patterns. Just like a snow flake, our eye holds fractal patterns. We can see these patterns everywhere in nature. In a pine cone, especially in flower petals, the branches of trees, the nautilus shell so close to its ancient cousin the ammonite and these patterns extend into the universe. Our sun, the galaxy in whose outer spiral arm our solar system is located. All forms of life as we know and experience them flow from these ageless patterns.


The structure of certain sacred architecture contains within it complex geometry which mimic the bio geometry of life and generate harmonics that have a noticeable effect on people states of awareness. When combined with the chants and mantras, people can quite literally massively amplify their consciousness. There is pervading the whole universe a single reasonance , a sound or tone, which acts so to speak, as the awakener or verifying power steering all the molecules into action.


Alexander Lauterwasser writes in “The Creative Music of the Universe”, “At the physical level the intricacies, beauty and interrelationships of what could be called ‘the super-conscious designs of the universe’ are gradually being revealed. From this perspective there is no essential difference between the structure of an atom, a galaxy, a chakra, a crop circle or even the Sufi whirling dervish ceremony. It is only a matter of scale and perception - ‘as above, so below’. Within these phenomena lies something, some process perhaps, that suggests this super-conscious design with its fundamental, archetypal patterns and displays of unity.

Phi, the Golden Ratio, 1.618, is the universal constant of the design within the physical phi cycle reality. Phi can be found throughout the universe. From the spiral of galaxy to spiral of nautilus seashell, from the harmony of music to the beauty in art, from the microscopic to the macrocosmic. The constant symetry of the Golden Ratio throughout nature also attest the holographic nature of reality.


Around 1200 ad, a man named Leonardo Pisano, better known as Fibonacci, discovered a sequence of numbers that created a very interesting pattern. This sequence begins with the numbers 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, and continues indefinitely. Each number is obtained by adding the last two digits together. A rectangle with a length and width of any two of the numbers of this sequence forms what is known as the golden rectangle, a perfect rectangle. A golden rectangle can be broken down into squares the size of the next Fibonacci numbers down and below. If we were to take a perfect or golden rectangle, break it down into smaller squares based on Fibonacci sequence, and divide each with an arc, the patterns begin to take shape. We begin to see Fibonacci spiral.

The spiral in and of itself is insignificant. Its important is revealed in where we find it. Take for example the sunflower, the display of its florets are in perfect spirals of 55, 34, and 21, the sequence of Fibonacci. The fruitlet of the pineapple create the same spiral based on the sequence. The pincone does the same as. As currents move through the ocean and the tide rolls onto the shore, the waves that bring in the tide curve into a spiral that can be mathematically diagrammed onto a plot at the points 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, and 55. Buds on trees, sand dollars, starfish, pedals on flowers, and especially the nautilus shell, are formed with this exact same blueprint. With each segment of growth, the Nautilus adds to itself one more value on Fibonacci scale. This blueprint can be seen around us on a small scale everyday. But the greatest example of all is directly above our heads.


Ocean Noise

For tens of millions of years, cetaceans, the whales, dolphins and porpoises of the seas, have thrived on this planet in peace. Few mammals inspire such wonder, and they are recognized as sentient, self-aware, socially complex, fully conscious and extraordinarily intelligent beings, worthy in some nations of legal rights. They have been adored by human cultures since the societies of the ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Sumerians, and they even play a part in the myths of ancient Atlantis. Many spiritually adept people believe that whales and dolphins are advanced extra-terrestrial beings, sent to earth as emissaries from other galactic races, but, you don’t have to have had contact with ET’s to appreciate the grace and radiant love these creatures bring to our world.


Cetaceans have the largest brains of the animal kingdom, with a brain to body mass second only to humans, giving us another clue that their role in the animal kingdom is special. They communicate with each other with advanced verbalizations including song and speech. Talking to animals, especially ones that can relate to humans, has always been a dream of many people. Animal communication has been studied for decades although reliably identifying animal sounds has proven to be extraordinarily difficult. However, some good work has been achieved in this area and recent research in the field of dolphin communication, using the CymaScope, is beginning to show promise.


Left: cymaglyph of adult dolphin voice Right: cymaglyph of a baby dolphin calling to its mother

The CymaScope is the first scientific instrument that can give a visual image of sound and vibration in ways previously hidden from view. Using high definition audio recordings of dolphins, the research team, headed by English acoustics engineer, John Stuart Reid and Florida-based dolphin researcher, Jack Kassewitz, has been able to image, for the first time, the imprint that a dolphin sound makes in water. The resulting “CymaGlyphs,” as they have been named, are reproducible patterns that are expected to form the basis of a lexicon of dolphin language, each pattern representing a dolphin “picture word.


The CymaScope captures actual sound vibrations imprinted in the dolphin’s natural environment—water, revealing the intricate visual details of dolphin sounds for the first time. Within the field of cetacean research, theory states that dolphins have evolved the ability to translate dimensional information from their echolocation sonic beam. The CymaScope has the ability to visualize dimensional structure within sound. CymaGlyph patterns may resemble what the creatures perceive from their own returning sound beams and from the sound beams of other dolphins.

The images above are low-resolution still photos of 'cymatic' images created by Alex Lauterwasser in Germany. These images are generated by humpback whale songs.


Scientists at the Speak Dolphin organization in Miami used a device called a CymaScope to record data as a dolphin echolocated several different objects, including a human diver. With help from a 3D printing company by the name of 3D Systems, they then reproduced that data as a two-dimensional visual image:

They also created a more accurate 3D print (echolocation is believed to contain information about depth as well). “Seeing the 3D print of a human being left us all speechless,” Jack Kassewitz, the founder of Speak Dolphin and the research team leader, said in a release. “For the first time ever, we may be holding in our hands a glimpse into what cetaceans see with sound.” “When a dolphin scans an object with its high frequency sound beam, each short click captures a still image, similar to a camera taking photographs,” explained CymaScope inventor John Stuart Reid. “Each dolphin click is a pulse of pure sound that becomes modulated by the shape of the object.” Kassewitz said dolphins can identify objects when recordings of the original echolocation are played back to them, and have done so in experiments with 92 percent accuracy. “We now think it is safe to speculate that dolphins may employ a ‘sono-pictorial’ form of language,” Kassewitz said. In other words, it’s “a language of pictures that they share with each other.”


Drawing on the totality of information we now know about how inter-dependent, entangled, and sensitive life is, it is foolish, or perhaps suicidal, to proceed with such disregard for whales and dolphins who fill the seas with immense loving energy. When the peaceful and harmonious sounds of whale and dolphin song are replaced by the negative and destructive energies of weapons testing, ultra-loud sonar, and nefarious intention, then it is conceivable that the overall web of life in the sea will be pushed into chaos and confusion, more so than it already is.

Cetacean song and speech has been a feature of the subaqueous realms of this planet since nearly the beginning of life on earth. If the supposition that life requires, and is influenced by, vibration is correct, then creatures that speak must be somehow, albeit still inexplicably, contributing to the formation and maintenance of life, as well as to further developments in evolution. Sound affects matter, and just as water responds to positive or negative energy, so does life. The silencing of cetaceans will remove the most benevolent and intelligent sources of positive vibrations in the sea, and who exactly knows what the implications of a shift from whale song to the sounds of warfare will be?


If plants respond to the ways they are nurtured and have several sensory perceptions, then how do they respond to sound waves and the vibrations created by musical sounds?


Music and Plant

Several studies have looked at this question, specifically how music effects plant growth. In 1962, Dr. T. C. Singh, head of the Botany Department at India’s Annamalia University, experimented with the effect of musical sounds on the growth rate of plants. He found that balsam plants grew at a rate that accelerated by 20% in height and 72% in biomass when exposed to music. He initially experimented with classical music. Later, he experimented with raga music (improvisations on a set of rhythms and notes) played on flute, violin, harmonium, and reena, an Indian instrument. He found similar effects.


Singh repeated the experiment with field crops using a particular type of raga played through a gramophone and loudspeakers. The size of crops increased to between 25 to 60% above the regional average.Through his several experiments, Singh concluded that the sound of the violin has the greatest effect on plant growth. He also experimented on the effects of vibrations caused by barefoot dancing. After exposure to dancers performed Bharata-Natyam, India’s most ancient dance style, with no musical accompaniment, several flowering plants, including petunias and marigold, flowered two weeks earlier than the control.

“Strangely, plants’ musical tastes show a remarkable congruence with those of the humans reporting them.” - Daniel Chamovitz


In a 1973 experiment by Dorothy Retallack, then a student of Professor Francis Brown, three groups of plants were exposed to various types of musical sounds. For one group, Retallack played the note F for an 8-hour period. For the second group, she played similar note for three hours. The third controlled group remained in silence. The first group died within two weeks, while the second group was much healthier than the controlled group.


Fascinated by Retallack's findings, two other students went on to do their own test. Plants exposed to Hayden, Beethoven, Brahms, and Schubert grew towards and entwined themselves around the speakers. Another plant group grew away from a speaker that played rock music. That group even tried to climb a glass-walled enclosure in what appeared to be an attempt to get away from the sound.

Retallack later replicated the experiment with rock music (like Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix) on a variety of plants. She observed abnormal vertical growth and smaller leaves. She also observed the plants to have damage similar to that associated with excessive water uptake. In the experiment, marigolds died within two weeks. No matter which way they were turned, plants leaned away from the rock music source. These findings were documented in Retallack's 1973 book The Sound of Music and Plants.


Mi-Jeong Jeong from the National Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology in Suwon, South Korea and his colleagues played some classical music including Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata in rice fields. They claim to have identified genes in the plant that can “hear” or respond to music.

The researchers have published their findings in “New Scientist” magazine. They say this discovery will help the farmers to switch plant genes on and off making crops flower at certain times or grow more quickly. Mi-Jeong Jeong and his colleagues played 14 different classical pieces to rice plants. They monitored gene expression in the plants - the process by which their DNA code is translated into instructions for biological processes such as growth.The researchers found that at specific frequencies of the sound, between 125 Hertz and 250 Hertz, the genes rbcS and Ald in the plants become more active, whereas at 50 Hertz the genes are less active. Both these genes respond to light, the researchers repeated the experiment at night; the genes responded to sound and produced the same effect as it did during daytime. The researchers thus conclude by this triggering of genes can make them produce chemicals, which could then be harnessed to activate other specific genes in the plant that will lead to flowering.


Various researches have proved that plants respond to acoustic energy in profound ways. It increases their rate of growth, their size, and influences their overall health. Dan Carlson, after a thorough research over a span of many years, had reached a conclusion that the medley of frequencies originating between 3,000 to 5,000 kHz helps the stomata of plants to open up quicker. This helps them absorb nutrients more efficiently.

It took Dan about fifteen years to develop a foliage spray designed such that it is used beneficially with the sound frequencies. This delay happened as the ability and desire of the plant to take up nutrition was altered due to its enhanced capability. Carlson calls this spray as the "Sonic Bloom". His findings have proved to be beneficial for countless farmers and have resulted in -- according to the Guinness Book -- the largest indoor plant on record. The Purple Passion was treated with the sonic bloom process. It grew to be 1,300 feet tall and was alive even after 25 years. Its normal lifespan, however, is 18 months and it grows not more than 18feet tall. The book, "Secrets of the Soil", writes about Sonic Bloom and its miraculous results. Sonic Bloom is also sold in the market by industry wholesalers.


Sound as Weapon

Sonic weapons usually leave no physical marks but can be devastating psychologically.

Common sayings like “seeing is believing” give our eyes the central role in our engagement with the world. But there is little doubt that listening plays a critical part in how we navigate and understand our environment. Historically, our ears, not eyes, revealed what lay beyond the light of the campfire. And importantly, our ears helped us recognise what lay behind us, out of sight. Sound has the profound ability to haunt, shock and terrify. It has a primordial quality that reaches deep inside us.


Given its profound emotional impact, it’s not surprising that sound has also been used as a device for exerting power and control. In recent years, the use of sound (and music) as a weapon has increased, as have our abilities to better exploit its potential. From Long Range Acoustic Devices used to disperse protesting crowds, to military drones that induce a wave of fear in those unlucky enough to be under them, to songs blasted on rotation at Guantanamo Bay, we are entering an age where sound is being repositioned as a tool of terror.

On the ground, sonic weapons such as the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) are being increasingly deployed. Originally created as a means of long distance communication in marine settings (over distances as far as three kilometers), the device has been widely used since the early 2000s.

During Pittsburgh’s G20 protests in September 2009, the LRAD was deployed to disperse crowds with incredibly high volume, directional sound. Use of the device led to subsequent legal action against the city of Pittsburgh, with one claimant receiving damages of $72,000 after suffering permanent hearing damage.


The Conquest of Jericho by Jean Fouquet (c 1415-1420).


The Battle Of Jericho, as described in the Bible, is an apt place to begin an examination of how sound came to be utilised as a weapon. Loosely, the story goes that Joshua’s Israelite army was able to break down the walls of Jericho using the sound of their trumpets. Though there is no historical basis to the tale, it recognises the physiological and the psychological implications of sound in warfare.

The Battle of Jericho also reminds us how sound can fatigue us. Like noise pollution today, sonic fatigue leads to a psychological debilitation. Perhaps the Israelite army was able to wear the enemy down through prolonged high volume sound projection, inducing sleep deprivation and fatigue-induced panic. Moreover, the constant blasting of the horns would act as a constant reminder that at any point, the armies might attack. The audible threat becomes a device of terror in and of itself.


One of the most frightening recently discovered weapons of sound is the Aztec Death Whistle, a pottery vessel, often shaped like a skull, that was used by Mexico’s pre-Columbian tribes. Blowing into it makes a sound that has been described as “1,000 corpses screaming”. Used en masse, an army marching with death whistles would surely have been terrifying.


One of the most iconic representations of sound as a means of creating fear was developed during the second World War. Germany’s Stuka Ju-87, a dive bomber fitted with a 70 cm siren dubbed the “Jericho Trumpet”, was a sophisticated terror device.

Its success influenced the V1 Flying Bomb, known as the ‘Buzzbomb’ due to the acoustic design of its engine. While its blast capacity was modest, its power as a sonic threat demonstrated the growing recognition of psychological terror as a destructive tool of war.


In 1957, while the Cold War was still quite heated, Dr. Vladimir Gavreau had assembled a team of researchers dedicated to developing robotic devices for a variety of military and industrial purposes. During work, the team would periodically fall victim to spells of nausea. Even those called upon to inspect the facility to determine the cause would experience the same ill feeling. Strangely, whenever the afflicted person or persons would step outside the building, the symptoms vanished.


They found that opening the windows reduced the effect, but not did not eliminate it entirely. The mystery affliction persisted, causing a serious disruption of Gavreau’s work. Eventually, after other causes such as noxious vapors or compounds were ruled out, the culprit was determined to be a ventilation fan motor. Gavreau’s team knew the fan motor was the culprit, as direct exposure to it caused its victim to be ill for hours afterward.

The motor was causing vibrations of the air at 7 cycles per second, well into the infrasonic range. The sound from the fan motor could not be heard, but its effects were quite evident. Eventually they determined the infrasonic waves from the motor caused a resonance within the building. When the thoughts of the group turned toward reproducing the effect through some type of self-contained, movable apparatus, the potential for weaponization became obvious. Experimentation produced a device utilizing large custom-built organ pipes, with the energy supplied first by a motor-driven piston, then by a pneumatic mechanism.

Dr. Gavreau’s team tested the infrasonic device on themselves. The effects were almost immediate. First came intense pressure on the eyes and eardrums. Soon after, intense pain racked the entire body. Then the entire building, a massive and stout concrete structure, was shaken. One of the team members managed to switch off the power, despite being in excruciating pain. The group experienced altered vision and painful spasms throughout the body for days following that one brief test. In retrospect, it seems that if the device had been left on any longer, Dr. Gavreau and his team would have died right there and then.


Sound Meditation


Sound helps to facilitate shifts in our brainwave state by using entrainment. Entrainment synchronizes our fluctuating brainwaves by providing a stable frequency which the brainwave can attune to. By using rhythm and frequency, we can entrain our brainwaves and it then becomes possible to down-shift our normal beta state (normal waking consciousness) to alpha (relaxed consciousness), and even reach theta (meditative state) and delta (sleep; where internal healing can occur).

A sound therapy treatment is both a passive and participatory experience. The passive aspect is that you become more relaxed by laying down and slowing your breath. By doing this, you prepare yourself to become the receiver of sound. It’s in this place of stillness that you participate by becoming more open and aware of each sound that comes in. Sound helps create the pathway to this place of stillness the same as a mantra helps you to arrive at the still point of meditation.


It's important to consider what kinds of sound we take in from our living environments. Anyone who lives in New York City knows how painful the sound of a subway train screeching to a halt feels and sounds. Loud sounds can elevate our stress levels, create imbalances in our nervous system, lower our immunity and in extreme cases, cause hearing loss.

When we are stressed, our whole relationship to sound changes, and regular everyday sounds can become magnified and contribute to the feedback cycle of the stress, amplifying it even more. By utilizing sound therapy techniques, we can become better listeners and more aware of the sounds we take in.


Many of us already have a pretty good understanding of the benefits of healthy eating, and the same can be true of sound. This is another example where mindfulness practices like chanting and vocal toning, can help us to find a center and feel grounded. In doing so, when we do have those stressful trigger moments, we may be better equipped to appreciate and discern the sounds more as our own unique symphony constantly happening around us, rather than feel overwhelmed by random cacophony.

Our body, mind and spirit always want to be moving in a direction toward balance, yet we often have too much outer stimulus and noise and not enough time to dedicate to ourselves, which can prevent us from achieving a better state of harmony. Sound has a way of helping us get to the source of this inner peace we all desire.


In recent years, the use of sound for healing has enjoyed a new wave of attention, as a growing number of practitioners appear on the scene, and innovative modalities are bringing together the best from ancient practices with the latest findings of modern science. The Lebanese-born scholar and sound therapist Alexandre Tannous is becoming widely appreciated in sound healing circles for the range and depth of his understanding of the nuances of sound, as well as for his thoughtful approach as a practitioner.


For the past 12 years he has been researching the therapeutic and esoteric properties of sound from three different perspectives – Western scientific, Eastern philosophical, and shamanic societal beliefs – to gain a deeper understanding of how, and to what extent, sound has been used to affect human consciousness. The material he transmits about sound is based on thorough research over many years: observations he made during his fieldwork, scientific studies, personal experiences, and data collected from thousands of people he has worked with doing sound therapy. This has led him to a deeper understanding of how sound reveals and unlocks hidden powers we have within us to promote profound inner changes and healing.

The sound meditation technique employs the use of sound in a highly specific and specialized way, in a manner that can engender profound experiences of healing for the listeners engaged in the meditation. One might fairly ask, therefore: isn’t this the same as sound healing? Why call it sound meditation instead? Tannous claims that the sound meditation technique is substantially different from what a person is likely to experience when he or she meets with a sound healer seeking treatment for a particular ailment. The concept of seeking treatment for a disease from a recognized expert or ‘healer’ is very much steeped in the Western medical model, which divides people into healers and clients. This creates a completely lopsided power dynamic, which removes nearly all agency from the person being healed.

He chooses, instead, to place the locus of agency and responsibility on the person who is experiencing healing through the sound meditation process, because he feels very strongly that all healing, refers to a process that exists innately within each of us. Healing is the restoration of a state of balance and wholeness, and since it is a human being that is becoming balanced and whole whenever healing occurs, the healed state is a potential that already exists within us. Any intervention, whether it employs sound, syringes or scalpels, is only ever successful to the extent that it can work with and elicit this innate capacity. Or, as it were put by Hippocrates himself: “Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease.”


One of the most magical places to have a sound bath session is the Integratron. The Integratron is located in Landers, California, 20 miles north of Joshua Tree National Park. Its creator, George Van Tassel (1910-1978), claimed that the structure is based on the design of Moses’ Tabernacle, the writings of Nikola Tesla and telepathic directions from extraterrestrials. This one-of-a-kind 38-foot high, 55-foot diameter, all wood dome was designed to be an electrostatic generator for the purpose of rejuvenation and time travel.


After van Tassel died, the Integratron is privately owned by three sisters, Joanne, Nancy, and Patty Karl, who have been part of the restoration and maintenance of the structure and property for more than 30 years. It is now operated as a tourist attraction and offer "sound baths" where groups of people are "exposed to harmonic sound frequencies" produced by quartz bowls, claimed to have a deep calming effect. The Integratron website claims "it is the only all-wood, acoustically perfect sound chamber in the U.S."


Degree Project

Spring 2017

Cymatics: Secret of Sound  
Cymatics: Secret of Sound